God is present and blessing when we feel alone and persecuted. (II Corinthianns 4:7-9)
God remembers us even when we feel forgotten.
Our feelings are real but do not determine reality.
God uses waiting to accomplish His purpose.
Take your feelings to God – share them, pour them out, but be willing to let them go. Let God define your reality.
Wait on God. Submit to God’s timetable. Submit to God’s timetable for this church.
Let God be God. Submit your will and preferences to Christ’s rule.
What does it mean that God is present with you? How do you understand God’s presence? What does it feel like to you to feel God’s presence? Is that a subjective experience or an objective reality? Does everyone feel it differently? How do you experience God at deep levels?
Have you ever felt forgotten? Are you comfortable sharing about that? What makes feeling forgotten so bad? What is really driving the feelings? Would you characterize yourself as a lone wolf or one who runs in a pack? Is solitude the same thing as loneliness? Why or why not?
Are you ever disappointed by people? That is, do you feel that they should reciprocate in ways that they don’t? How do you handle that? Do you reduce your expectations? Or do you keep your expectations high and face more frequent disappointment? How does one avoid becoming jaded when faced with frequent disappointment? Do you think Joseph was jaded after the cup bearer forgot him? How would you have felt?
How are you at waiting for unspecified periods of time? Would you rather know or not know how long you are to wait? If you are calling a service center, do you want them to tell you how long they expect you will wait? Why or why not? What is the downside to knowing? How does knowing change the experience?
How do you frame your experience with a faith-filled perspective? Paul said in II Corinthians 4:7, “We are afflicted in every way but not crushed.” How do you acknowledge that you are afflicted in every way and yet decide you are not crushed? Is that a matter of the will, is this just saying, “I am not crushed”? Is framing your circumstances in faith a form of denial or a transforming perspective? When does it become denial? When is it transformative?
Are you able to name and share your feelings without letting them have power over you? If you have a feeling, are you able to release it and move on? Does your Christian walk transform your emotions? Have you experienced specific emotions in which Christ was not ruling?
How are you at letting God set the timetable for your life? What do you do when God’s timetable is not yours? How do you handle that? How would you like to handle that?